A valid will can help you avoid estate disputes

Date: Feb 13, 2014

One of the ways you can prevent your spouse, de facto partner, children or dependents from being able to dispute a will you've created is by ensuring it's valid.

How do you go about doing that?

According to the New South Wales Trustee and Guardian, a will - generally speaking - needs to meet four criteria to be considered valid. 

1) You need to be at least 18 years old when the will is created. There are exceptions to this rule, however - for example, if you're married or if you've been granted permission by the Supreme Court.

2) You must have what is known as "testamentary capacity". This is quite a complex idea, but it ultimately means that you have the ability - both legally and mentally - to organise a will. For example, you understand what you're giving away and who you're leaving it to, and you're not suffering from a mental illness that might prevent you from making rational decisions.

3) The will must be a written, not verbal or other form of contract.

4) It must be signed by you in the presence of at least two witnesses.

For more information about estate planning, get in touch with Craddock Murray Neumann.